MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 28, 2014

Fire ruins Keefeton house

Strong winds keep firefighters at scene through day

By Anita Reding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— KEEFETON — Fire destroyed the home of Curtis and BJ. Garvin on Monday, Fire Chief Speck Plunkett said.

Keefeton firefighters were called to the scene at 13025 S. 65th St. E., a half mile from McLain, at 8:37 a.m., and the Warner Fire Department was called for backup.

The fire was already “through the roof” when the Keefeton firefighters arrived, Plunkett said.

“It just had a head start on us,” he said.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control within 20 minutes, but they continued to battle fire in between the exterior and interior walls and also in the wood floor.

High winds forced firefighters to remain at the scene.

“Any little spark, it (wind) flares it back up,” Plunkett said Monday afternoon.

He also said firefighters would probably continue to monitor the scene through the night.

After a couple of hours of their arrival, fire personnel equipped with a self-contained breathing apparatus entered the home to “salvage as much as we can” for the homeowners, Plunkett said.

Firefighters were able to salvage some personal items — including guns and pictures —  from the home, he said.

The homeowners were at work when the fire started.

Curtis Garvin said he and his wife have lived in the home for more than 30 years.

Garvin said he had been planning to retire in a few years, but now he is unsure of his plans.

Plunkett said firefighters believe the fire started in the bathroom, but the cause has not been determined.

Firefighters also battled the weather Monday morning. Low temperatures forced firefighters to keep the pumps running to prevent them from freezing. They were also concerned that their clothing could freeze, Plunkett said.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or areding@muskogeephoenix.com.